March is Women’s History Month, and to commemorate, let’s look back on the history and works of some of the remarkable women whose contributions to Rochester are at the heart of our great city:  The Sisters of St. Francis, who celebrate their 140th anniversary this year. 

BUILT ON TRUST AND RESPECT

In 1883, a tornado ripped through the mostly rural town of Rochester, leaving the town destroyed and its people injured and devastated. Among the first on the scene were Mother Alfred Moes and the Sisters of St. Francis who tended the injured alongside Dr. William W. Mayo and his sons, Drs. William J. and Charles H. Mayo. That was the beginning of an extraordinary partnership between Mother Alfred and Dr. William W. Mayo. This partnership led to one of Rochester’s earliest hospitals—what we know today as the Saint Marys Campus of Mayo Clinic Hospital.

Legal enthusiasts will be shocked to know that no legal document was ever drawn between Mother Alfred, the Sisters of St. Francis, Dr. William W. Mayo or even the Mayo Clinic as it stands today. The partnership continues as it began: a professional and spiritual bond built entirely upon trust and respect.

 

Mar/Apr
2017

Gaining Ground: Women in Politics

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Written by Sarah Oslund

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit on, the desire for a more balanced representation of women in public policy-making positions is shared by many (men and women). From Minnesota to the Middle East, women are taking action like we haven’t seen in decades, if ever, to be heard and fight for justice. 

BALANCING ACT

Even though women make up more than half of the U.S. population, they remain underrepresented in Congress, holding only 20 percent of the seats. At the beginning of 2017, sources at Emerging America state that women comprise less than 25 percent of seats in state legislatures, 10 percent of all governors and 18 percent of mayors in cities with more than 30,000 residents. 

Research indicates that while women in political races are elected to office at the same rate as men, the recruitment rate for women is drastically lower. They often don’t even reach the proverbial pipeline. Since the election in November 2016, EMILY’s List, She Should Run and other groups that encourage women to seek public office have seen an unprecedented rise in interest.

 

What are your financial goals? Do you want to travel? Buy a car? Donate money to a charity you love? Be able to gift money to your children or grandchildren? Do you own a business and are thinking about succession planning? Do you want to buy your first house or a new house? Do you want to make sure you don’t have to worry about money when you retire? Saying “having enough for retirement” is vague. As with all goals, be specific.

LET YOUR VALUES GUIDE YOUR GOALS

Kari Douglas, financial advisor with Echelon Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., helps women identify their values as they create financial goals. Kari says, “It is never too late or too early to start planning for financial well-being; it all begins with identifying your personal goals and objectives.” 

Kari encourages women to set goals, do their homework, admit they don’t know about investing, ask for help, take appropriate risks and focus on the long term. She says, “Women who have a financial plan feel the most confident and in control, are 10 times more likely to achieve said goal and are also more likely to feel at peace with their financial choices.”

 

Mar/Apr
2017

To Be Seventeen Again: Celebrating Eryn Fjelsted's 17th Birthday

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Written by Jorrie Johnson Photography by Mike Hardwick Photography

Do you remember turning 17? Where did you live? Where did you go to school? Who were your friends? What were your hopes and dreams? What advice would you give your 17 year-old self today?

ERYN'S 17TH BIRTHDAY PARTY

Rochester Women magazine helped Eryn Fjelsted celebrate her 17th birthday on Tuesday, February 7 with a makeover, pizza party and photo shoot at Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria. Imagine that kind of treatment for your 17th birthday party! 

Eryn and her mom, Cindy Fjelstad, went to Hair Studio 52 + Day Spa to get ready for the party. Jade at Hair Studio 52 added color and highlights to Cindy’s professional hairstyle. Lizzie Albrecht trimmed and highlighted Eryn’s hair to give her an easy wash-and-wear hair style for her busy, hockey-girl lifestyle. Her natural Norwegian blonde hair goes well with her light blue dress from Camy Couture. Her tall boots looked stunning on her long legs. Only a 17 year-old could get away with wearing a short dress, as if Paris runway model, on a chilly winter day in Minnesota. Teens don’t seem to have the same desire (or need) to be warm as their mothers.

 

Mar/Apr
2017

The Art of Coaching: Teaching Life Skills on the Ice

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Written by Holly Galbus

The puck dropped for the first time for Rochester varsity girls hockey on November 14, 1995 at Graham Arena. There were two teams in that inaugural season, and the first games played were John Marshall versus Owatonna and Mayo versus Minnetonka.

Twenty-two years later, the game of hockey has become the sport of choice for many young women in our area.  The lessons learned extend beyond stickhandling, skating and passing the puck.  Gains in confidence, leadership and teamwork contribute to success on and off the ice.

COACHING PHILOSOPHIES

Bob Montrose, retired John Marshall Rockets girls hockey coach, says that in coaching, “It’s about surrounding players with a culture of really trying hard.” He says success on the ice is determined by essentially two things: keeping the energy level of the players up and having a skilled goalie. Keeping the energy level of the players up is about cultivating excitement for the game. This begins at the start of every practice, he says, with a fun, competitive game.  Mike McCormack has 31 years coaching experience and is in his third season as head coach of the Mayo Spartans girls hockey team.  Earlier this winter, the Spartans celebrated a win in overtime over crosstown rival the John Marshall Rockets, something that hasn’t been done in five years. “I’ve never seen a happier group of kids in my life,” he says. “For many, it was the most important hockey game in their life.”

 

Mar/Apr
2017

Haute Cuisine: "Oui, Madame!" La Cuisine Francaise Chez Vouz–French Cooking at Your House

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Written by Emily Watkins Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

have a not-so-secret passion for France. I’ve studied the language and culture for almost 25 years and have lived, gone to school and worked there for a combined two years. French food provides vivid memories: creamy butter on fresh bread and croissants on a slow morning in Paris, fresh seafood on the coast of Brittany, lettuce tossed with vinaigrette, waiting for the cheese course after a long Sunday afternoon dinner with family.

“Haute cuisine,” according to Wikipedia, is food served at “high level” establishments, gourmet restaurants and luxury hotels, characterized by meticulous preparation and careful presentation, at a high price level, enjoyed with expensive wines. While there are many restaurants like this in France (as well as here in the U.S.), by and large, the cooking that happens in the home in France is simple and straightforward, eating to savor delicious food while enjoying time with friends and family. 

FRENCH CUISINE WITH A TWIST

Rochester is home to many classically trained chefs who add riffs to classic French fare. Bleu Duck Kitchen offers top-notch cuisine, wines and cocktails in a “fun-dining” atmosphere. Casablanca Creative Cuisine & Wine allows diners to get close to fine French dining without leaving the city limits, and owner and chef Youness Bojji might even teach you a little French. ZZest brings you the most amazing selection of cheeses from France and everywhere else, modern dishes and fabulous cocktails. All three restaurants present incredibly creative dishes that will delight your palette.

 

Champagne is a region in northern France where true champagne is made. In other countries it’s known as a sparkling wine. In the Champagne region, the climate is cool, and the soil is chalky and rocky. Growing in these elements keeps the grapes from losing their acidity, creating crisp, dry flavors. However, sugar can be added to champagne to add a touch of sweetness. The three main grapes used to create champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Champagne is not just for celebrations. Break out the bubbly on a random Tuesday evening and let the bubbles dance across your palate while dining on burgers, deep-fried cheese curds or fried chicken.

TESSA'S TWO CENTS

Tessa Leung, owner of Tessa’s Office wine boutique, has a deeply rooted relationship with champagne. In fact, her dream job is to be a champagne ambassador. 

 

Christina Ganfield was searching for friends—the kind of friends that only come from shared loves and losses, the kind from home. Home for Christina is Malaysia, seemingly a world away from Rochester, Minnesota. She tried to be a part of different social groups, but nothing ever seemed to fit. Many people she met grew up in Rochester and already had well-established social circles and family support. It was hard to break into that kind of shared history when trying to connect with other women.

One day, while at Christ Community Church, Nancy Dockter, the women’s ministry leader at the time, approached Christina and Rodica Alexander about starting an international group for women. Nancy had come across a resource for women’s groups that offered a monthly conversation prompt. In the summer of 2013, they organized the first International Table. Over the years, the group has brought together between eight and 10 women monthly. Most of the women are from other countries, but the group has several Americans (of mixed or no strong foreign ethnicity) too. The group currently has members from Malaysia, Sierra Leone, Canada, Louisiana, Chicago, Illinois (married to an American born Japanese), China, Korea, Taiwan, Long Island, New York and Romania.

 

Jerry Holecek didn’t take a gradual approach in remodeling the country rambler that he grew up in during the 70s and 80s. He modernized both the house and its surrounding grounds in a year-plus remodeling binge. “It’s quite a transformation,” Jerry says. “There was updating done inside and out.” 

Jerry made much of the transformation possible with his own expertise. He owns and operates H&H Company of Rochester, LLC, which builds custom homes, remodels residences and specializes in unique decks, porches and other outdoor structures. He spent his workweek putting up other clients’ homes and then went home to fix up his own house, located just inside the Dodge County line south of U.S. Highway 14. 

MODERN WITH RURAL REMINDERS 

Jerry and his partner, Kim Banfield, describe the style of their home as a “modern farmhouse,” placing the emphasis on “modern.”

The couple created an open design in the main living areas, featuring plenty of space and some accents reminding them of the home’s rural heritage. They tied them with a light gray color scheme and brown, rustic-looking wood laminate floors. They wanted their surroundings to be flexible for decor. “Gray is the new neutral,” Kim notes.   

 

Heather Woitas, owner of Cherished seconds, was raised by parents who enjoyed do-it-yourself projects and home remodeling. Heather's dad told her that if she wanted a new bedroom, she would have to build it herself. So she did, and she loved the challenge.

To this day, Heather credits her father’s love of DIY for instilling her passion for refurbishing and restoring vintage and unique items. She isn’t afraid of hands-on work, either. In fact, she relishes it. “There is something to be said about a woman using power tools and using them proficiently. I used to borrow my dad’s tools, but now I have more saws than he does,” she says.  

CHERISHED SECONDS

Heather’s store, Cherished Seconds, opened in Stewartville in 2015. “When I first opened the shop, I needed the trifecta: a place to sell, a place to teach and supplies for people who want to do it themselves.” 

 

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